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Messages - Pegasus

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This has brought a big smile to my face - the word 'prescription' is a complete misnomer when applied to foods. Medicines need to be prescribed and vet meds have different classifications - VOM, AVM-GSL etc with only suitably qualified people being able to sell them. These prescription foods have no classifications as they are not meds, they are just food. It took a lot of digging but I finally found the ingredients of a tin of 'prescription' wet dog food - (the company wouldn't give me the ingredients over the phone because I wasn't a qualified vet) - it was written in tiny print on  the inside of the label - ingredients - cereal and cereal derivatives, meat and meat derivatives - more or less the same as Chappie but a bit more expensive at £2.80 for a 240g tin! Hope they win or even just highlight this 'con'. Only thing is I can't see anyone on this side of the pond having the clout to stand up to the likes of Nestle and Mars, perhaps only the EU.

Would be hard to use your formula for most dog foods as the moisture content is rarely listed. Just looked at our own food and the NFE and Calorific values are listed as well as the moisture content (which is 6%). This is a pmfa guide to calories,%20Understanding%20Energy%20Requirements%20of%20cats%20and%20dogs%20WEB%20version.pdf which lists a dry dog food as having 10% moisture - so a small difference to our food.
PS I do like the 'watch out bit' at the bottom of the leaflet which could apply to so many aspects of dog food

re quote - Manufacturers can be more transparent and thus be 'rewarded' by greater sales if their transparency results in greater scores; if that is what is the driving force of the market. - unfortunately most people perceive all dog foods to be the same and go on advertising, presentation and price rather than ingredients - hence Bakers being the No1 best seller.
As to making better labelling enforceable - this would be a non starter as the vast majority of dog foods are manufactured by Nestle, Mars, etc and they thrive on the ambiguity of labelling and have a much bigger 'clout' than the independents when it comes to legislation. As an example have a look at the way some human foods are labelled - they brought in a traffic light system for fats, sugar etc - I've picked up some foods where the 'traffic lights' are green and found they are only green if you eat half the portion.
I agree that the well rated foods could be labelled better, but if they go into the minutest detail then it would male it very easy for a rival to copy it. Also it would be hard for new companies to come up with inovative foods at an affordable price if they have to test and provide data on all ingredients (such as CFU of probiotics).

Introductions / Re: Dog food for young and not so young.
« on: Dec 30, 2016, 12:40 »
My advice is not to go (immediately) to a four five star rated food but look at a 'premium' food with a single protein source if possible. Whatever you choose is going to be a big step up in meat content and therefore if there is an adverse reaction to a single source protein, it will be magnified. Suggestions for ease of buying - Burns, Arden Grange, JWB, Barking Heads  all readily available

General discussion / Re: Feeding wet and dry food together
« on: Dec 30, 2016, 12:13 »
Re; Light option - Without checking, I believe the labelling of a food as 'light' means it has to contain 10% less calories than the 'normal' adult dog food - the calorific content of food is rarely mentioned on packaging but on average I think it is around 440kj per 100g ( so a light varient would be 400kj). In the past, I've recommended Arden Grange Light as it comes in at 326kj per 100g - a 25% reduction. Other foods to look at would be the ones with high oats contents as these are seen as slow release - think 'fuller for longer'. Arcana and Burns as example. Calorific content is a really useful label that rarely appears on EU foods but is common in USA, much more useful than crude analysis.
As to not eating dry kibble alone, try zapping the kibble in the microwave for a few seconds - this heats up the oils and fats in the food and can make it more appealing.

I have to stick up for David here! Just a quick look at one wholesaler it lists over 2000 dog food lines. this doesn't account for the independents, BARF, Crown, own label, supermarket or international ones which would easily double (if not triple) the number of foods available in this country. Since this site was started, there have been many progressions such as cold pressed, 80 - 20, extrusion from fresh meat and grain free diets and its probably more important to keep up with these changes rather than new packaging or slightly different products.

I have found it invaluable to have the charts that you already have on the site David which show protein levels, fats, carbs for the various foods, and importantly these are also presented for wet foods, as though they are dry so to speak, allowing for a like to like comparison.
 I feel there could be even greater use of these charts by adding charts for different varieties of foods offered by a manufacturer. Not solely for the first food listed.
Also if these charts were promoted and given higher attention  on the website they would hopefully be used more and users wont rely mostly on food scores. Then if a dog is thriving on a certain food the user could look at the current levels of protein/fats/etc in the charts, and search for a similar food using the search nutrient tools  on the website.
Putting this more simply... I'd suggest emphasing the importance of the food charts for a thriving/healthy dog versus solely the scoring of a food.
This takes away a users need to change a food because the rating is not 'the best' it could be. Hope this makes sense

In my opinion, the analytical content (fats, protein,carbs) of the food is of the least importance in terms of determining how good a food is, it is more important where these are sourced ie the ingredients. In the past high protein content was thought of as being an indicator of a good food and manufacturers would use cheap fillers that contained high protein to give the appearance of a quality food. Modern emphasis in dog foods, is on the ingredients, with the level of  meat content and other ingredients being the indicators of what is a good or bad food. This site gives ratings on the ingredients not the analytical content ( although these are part of the ratings). for example - I can find you a food that has five star rating and another on a one star and with similar protein/fat/carbs analysis but that would not give an indication they were similar foods.

General dog chat / Re: Chocolate toxicity calculator
« on: Dec 24, 2016, 10:51 »
The solution - I may get very scientific and technical here - very salty, as salty as you can get it - boiling water, add loads of salt and then cold water to 'drinkable' temperature. Speed really is the thing rather than the chemistry. The dog is going to bring the solution back up asap and the chocolate with it.

Dog foods / Re: Edgard & Cooper dog food range
« on: Dec 23, 2016, 13:32 »
I don't think your far wrong! We sell a grain free, 50% meat food which retails at 60% of the price of Edgar and Cooper. I like the etchical stance and the packaging but if these are the USP then I would find it a hard sell at the price.

General dog chat / Re: Chocolate toxicity calculator
« on: Dec 23, 2016, 10:18 »
We used salt solution. I've read about use of hydrogen peroxide (mainly on American sites) but salt solution is easier to formulate and less scary sounding.

Dog foods / Re: Edgard & Cooper dog food range
« on: Dec 22, 2016, 15:53 »
Out of curiosity - what would you estimate the price to be based on the ingredients alone? I think they come in 7.5kg bag

Labels on dog foods are a bit of a headache - I did complain to one (major independent) dog food manufacturer that their food was incorrectly labelled according to PFMA guidelines and was told that 'it was only a guideline and not legally binding' (and it shows on this website as being labelled well). I've also noticed new foods with a 'scattergun' approach to ingredients, adding small amounts of many different beneficial ingredients without stating the benefits of each or whether they are in sufficient quantities to be beneficial.

General discussion / Re: Veterinary Nutrition Specialists
« on: Dec 22, 2016, 14:52 »
Have to disagree with a couple of points.
quote 'Homemade is not normally produced by an expert in laboratory conditions so is very likely unbalanced' - I think a lot of homemade feeders would strongly disagree with this. If you go to the trouble of homemade then you are more than likely to research well. I'm sure most would agree fresh over laboratory prepared processed food.
quote -  'Misconceptions that dogs are carnivore' - you seem to have ended the carnivore/omnivore/opportunityvore argument that has raged for years!
quote - 'marketing gimmicks with words like 'full of' or 'chicken & rice' yet only 4% of each present.' - sorry, this is wrong. If a label states 'chicken and rice' it has to be 26% chicken and 26% rice minimum - agreed this is not a legally binding definition but it would read 'with chicken and rice' to be 4%.
quote ' digestible and balanced diet appropriate to lifestage and lifestyle' although I don't see anything wrong in the theory it does seem to be the tag line to many a vet recommended foods and leaves many things open to interpretation.
quote 'so if you add up analytical constituents it rarely = 100%' the analytical constituents shows the levels of certain things (ash, fat, protein etc) in the food and so could never add up to 100%
Your course sounds good but it it does focus on what and how the dogs feeds rather than what feed to recommend  - which goes back to my original posting of there not being an independent nutrition course on what to feed.

Dog foods / Re: Edgard & Cooper dog food range
« on: Dec 22, 2016, 12:07 »
Reps are touring the country now so availability will increase - I had some samples to try, dogs liked them - ingredients Fresh chicken (41%) Whole brown rice Whole oats Peas Whole barley Pea protein Chicken stock Chicken fat Minerals Salmon oil Free range chicken eggs Linseed Tomatoes (0,30%) Blueberries (0,20%) Organic chamomile (0,15%) Organic Rosemary (0,15%) Prébiotics Fos Prébiotics Mos - can't pick fault with ingredients, ethics, packaging but the price placed it outside our market place

General dog chat / Re: Chocolate toxicity calculator
« on: Dec 22, 2016, 11:52 »
Good post but the descriptions of the chocolates are a bit vague for me. I presume semi sweet and unsweetened are high cocoa solid products. eg bars that contain 80% cocoa solids and not your 'ordinary' Dairy Milk. Our dog nicked a chocolate bar a few Christmases ago and we rang the vet for advice, when we told he the dog had eaten a high cocoa solid bar she asked how quick could we get to the surgery - it was 11pm on a Sunday to give an indication how serious the vet thought it was. Dog was fine as we'd already induced vomiting but it was scary how concerned the vet was.
On the other hand, we had a customer last year whose dog had eaten a full tin of Quality Street and the only side effect was colourful sparkles in the poo for days after as the dog didn't bother unwrapping the sweets.

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